The best of Vashon

Let’s all make the most of our time together.

In recent weeks, there have been unforgettable opportunities for islanders to look around and realize they are seeing and experiencing the very best of Vashon.

Such was the case on Monday, when hundreds of islanders gathered on the rolling, beautiful, and sacred grounds of Vashon Cemetery, to honor the fallen during the island’s Memorial Day ceremony.

The ceremony unfolded as it always does: with rituals, music, speeches, and remembrances that touched the hearts of those who attended. It provided a chance to not only greet our friends and neighbors but also visit the graves of islanders who have gone before us — so many of them marked by small American flags, indicating their service in the military.

To stand on the ground these islanders pledged to protect was a deeply moving experience.

The best of Vashon was also on full display at a May 19 celebration of life on Vashon High School’s baseball field for Steve Hall — a remarkable islander and inspirational baseball coach who left us much too soon on March 1.

Hall’s celebration was marked by moving speeches, but also, joyous inter-generational play of the game he loved so much, on a field that has now been renamed Martin-Hall Field — linking Hall’s name with that of another inspirational coach, Jim Martin.

May the circle be unbroken, and may we all follow the examples of the heroes and leaders who have made our own lives better.

Vashon is a place where we are fortunate to be able to move with ease within overlapping circles of acquaintances, offering smiles and catching up with folks in the aisles of our grocery stores, bumping into old friends we haven’t seen for a while at the farmer’s market in town, and dancing wildly together at concerts by revered local musicians.

As summer comes along, we’ll have more of these chances to experience the warm embrace of our community and discover what is best about our small town.

We’re lucky to live in this beautiful, verdant, and peaceful place, where we all have a part to play, where we can all make a difference if we try, and where cherished memories of so many who came before us can guide our good choices.

Let’s all make the most of our time together.